Worn by the Russian Army from 1786 to 1796, the Potemkin uniform was one of the most bizarre developments in military fashion.

In 1786, Empress Catherine the Great ordered a universal uniform for the whole of the Russian Army. The uniform, though tremendously ugly, was actually quite practical- contrary to contemporary trends in European military costume. The jacket, known as a Kurtka, fit loosely, and closed entirely down the breast. The trousers, an anomaly in and of themselves, were reinforced with leather, mimicking the appearance of leather boots. Capping it all off was a fur-crested leather helmet, worn in lieu of the cocked hat or metal-fronted mitre.

The uniform was abolished by Paul I upon ascending the throne in 1796, and replaced with a more traditional, Prussian-inspired costume.

Sources:

  • Knoetel, Richard and Herbert Knoetel. Uniforms of the World, trans. Roland G. Ball (Arms and Armour, 1983)
  • Martin, Paul. “War of the French Revolution and the Coalitions, 1792-1803” in Battledress, ed. I.T. Schick (Weidenfield and Nicholson, 1978)

Image Credits:

A. “Russischer Grenadier”, Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection.

B. “Russische Infanterie und Jager” by Richard Knoetel

C. “Subaltern, Potemkin Regiment, 1790-92,” Unknown source.

B. "Potemkin Corps," from Mollo and Macgregor’s Uniforms of the Imperial Russian Army.

  1. jarman7 reblogged this from ultraeverlastinggopstopper
  2. ultraeverlastinggopstopper reblogged this from gentlemaninkhaki
  3. beardedkomedy reblogged this from gentlemaninkhaki
  4. godgeous reblogged this from spookingofskelesackia
  5. flyingmummy reblogged this from spookingofskelesackia
  6. spookingofskelesackia reblogged this from invictascientia
  7. invictascientia reblogged this from theravingcelt
  8. smooti reblogged this from gentlemaninkhaki
  9. theravingcelt reblogged this from gentlemaninkhaki
  10. acetatetape reblogged this from gentlemaninkhaki
  11. lordmarlborough reblogged this from vfreie
  12. vfreie reblogged this from gentlemaninkhaki
  13. gentlemaninkhaki posted this